^ Jump up to: a b c Appel, Lawrence J; Moore, Thomas J; Obarzanek, Eva; Vollmer, William; Svetkey, Laura; Sacks, Frank; Bray, George; Vogt, Thomas; et al. (1997-04-17). "A Clinical Trial of the Effects of Dietary Patterns on Blood Pressure". The New England Journal of Medicine. Massachusetts Medical Society. 336 (16): 1117–1124. doi:10.1056/NEJM199704173361601. ISSN 0028-4793. PMID 9099655.
The Military Diet is a very calorie-restricted 3 day diet that's based on the principles of consuming the right combination of metabolism-boosting foods. The diet also incorporates the idea of intermittent fasting with 3 days of very restricted eating followed by 4 days of a more moderate approach. While the diet itself is pretty straight forward, it's not for the faint of heart. This diet may be exceedingly difficult to stick with because it must be followed exactingly.
The study provided all foods and beverages to participants for eight weeks. None of the diets were vegetarian or used specialty foods. After two weeks, participants who added fruits and vegetables to a typical American diet or those on the DASH diet had lower blood pressure than those who followed a typical American diet alone. However, the participants on the DASH diet had the greatest effect of lowering their high blood pressure.
Mobile apps are being developed to increase compliance with the DASH plan. The DASH Cloud is one such app in development at the Duke Global Health Institute. "We're trying to see how we can leverage technology to promote DASH," Steinberg says. There are thousands of diet and fitness apps to track calories and activity, she says, but few focus on diet quality. It's currently in the testing stage. Steinberg works with one of the original developers of the DASH diet, and she says they want people to be aware of all the nutrients that lower blood pressure. The goal is to pair the DASH Cloud with a good diet tracker app and offer messaging to users that provides ways to increase their DASH score throughout the day.
If you need to lose weight quickly, you can use any diet that cuts calories. But you're likely to put the weight back on (and possibly gain more) unless you learn to eat portion-controlled, nutritious meals for the long term. On the Military Diet, you're not likely to learn those skills. And I don't know about you, but if I'm going to go on a diet, I want to keep the pounds off for good.

However, it's safe to say that no one really knows the origin of the military diet, Yurechko said, as it is certainly not approved by the military. But if you are still a tad bit curious about taking this diet out for a spin, we spoke to some experts on the subject to make sure you have all the ins-and-outs. Here are some takeaways to keep in mind.

Hi Michele – it can be overwhelming at first, especially when all of the food arrives for the first time! Have you downloaded the South Beach Diet app yet? That has been the best way for me to keep track of menu planning and staying on track, so I would definitely get that if you haven’t yet. You can find more info about it here: https://tracker.southbeachdiet.com – there is also a tab for their “PALM” site that can help keep things sorted too. Hope that helps!
So, how can you lose more than 3 pounds then? Well our bodies are more complex than simple calorie-counting would have you believe. Each person’s metabolism is different and reacts differently to the diet. Many people burn more than 2000 calories in a day, just through their regular activities, which would mean you’d lose more weight. It’s also possible that you typically consume more than 2000 calories in a day- making the effects of the diet even more dramatic.
The South Beach Diet was created by a cardiologist in 2003, and it's considered to be a modified low-carbohydrate diet, according to U.S. News & World Report. It's based on the idea that carbs and fats can be either good or bad. If you decide to follow the South Beach Diet, you'll probably be getting fewer carbs and more protein and healthy fats than you're used to eating.
Limiting your daily intake of fruits and vegetables, means you're likely not getting the amount of fiber, antioxidant vitamins A and C, potassium, and phytonutrients you need on a daily basis, she says. Since the diet also includes limited dairy, you'll likely be low on vitamin D, calcium, and potassium too—nutrients that most Americans are already lacking, says Amidor. Since the diet is super low-carb, you're not getting enough whole grains, either—which are a great source of B vitamins and fiber, she says. (See: Why Healthy Carbs Belong In Your Diet.)

During each of those scheduled three days, the military diet food plan is strict, and you’ll consume about 1,000-1,400 calories. Our calculations put most days around 1,150 calories. The four following days, you should aim to keep your calorie intake below 1,500 calories. For reference, the United States governments' Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion says that moderately active adult males need about 2,200-2,800 calories a day, and moderately active adult females need about 1,800-2,000 calories a day.
Another critic of the ADA program is futurologist and transhumanist Ray Kurzweil, who with Terry Grossman co-authored Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever (published 2004). They describe the ADA guidelines as "completely ineffective". Their observations are that the condition, particularly in its early stages, can be controlled through a diet that sharply reduces carbohydrate consumption. Their guidelines for patients with type 2 diabetes is a diet that includes a reduction of carbohydrates to one sixth of total caloric intake and elimination of high glycemic load carbohydrates. As someone who was diagnosed with diabetes but who no longer has symptoms of the disease, Kurzweil is a firm advocate of this approach. However, Kurzweil's prescription changed somewhat between his 1993 book The 10% Solution for a Healthy Life, in which he recommended that only 10% of calories should come from fat, and Fantastic Voyage, which recommends 25%.
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“Dr. Agatston is a noted cardiologist who's made many contributions, but The South Beach Diet may be his best. Importantly, this is not 'another diet book.' This is a book about health and well-being. Dr. Agatston does an outstanding job of explaining the importance of the types of food we eat and its impact on preventing illnesses, such as coronary heart disease and diabetes. Not only will you feel better if you follow his diet, but you will look and live better.” ―Randolph P. Martin, M.D., director of noninvasive cardiology at Emory University Hospital, Atlanta
Starvation mode is when you restrict calories over a period of time and lose weight quickly, causing your body’s metabolism to slow down. This is a natural side effect of just about any type of weight loss. The less you weigh, the less body tissue your body has to maintain and so your metabolism may drop a bit. Think of it this way: if you carry a backpack up a hill, you burn more calories than if you walk up without a backpack. Extra weight that you carry, even if it’s some extra fat, causes your body to work harder and burn more calories. Another effect of starvation mode is that your body prefers to preserve fat and consume muscle in an effort to help you survive. However, the Military Diet minimizes the effects of the so-called “starvation mode” by including plenty of protein intake in the form of eggs, cottage cheese, tuna, meats and peanut butter. Research supports this strategy, saying that you can preserve both your muscle and metabolism while dieting. In addition, because the diet is only 3 days, after which you return to a more acceptable caloric intake, your body, muscles and metabolism won’t suffer too much.
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